Malware is malicious software that’s sole intent is to damage or disable computers and computer systems. It typically vandalizes PCs and corrupts files, all while appearing to be legitimate software. They may even be after private information that can be used to compromise your personal information, such as a keylogger that monitors your every keystroke in an effort to steal credit card information.
2. How does Malware Get on My PC?
It’s hard to hear, but malware often ends oup on your PC because you installed it. Malware works like most scams that trick its victims, and all you have to do is make one wrong click.
Malware can sometimes be packaged in with more legitimate software. A download and installation can also be triggered by clicking on a phony error message
Download “free” software from a disreputable source or a peer-to-peer network can also welcome malware onto your PC.
3. Secure Your PC
The software on your PC may contain exploits or security holes that make it easy to infect with Malware. Install any operating system updates as these often include security patches to protect yourself while online.
Always run an anti-virus software program and be sure to update the virus definition files regularly. Having up to date protection software on your PC is the first line of defense from Malware.
4. Be Skeptical
While many browsers have reduced the annoyance of pop-up windows, they still exist. Anytime you see one, you should be on your guard and avoid clicking on anything within the window.
Never click on any pop-ups that imitate a Windows or Mac error message when you try to navigate out of a particular webpage. Force quit the browser if necessary and if you are concerned that something began installing itself on your computer, immediately run a scan with your Internet security software.
Do not open any attachments unless you were expecting them from a reputable source.
5. Live SPAM free
If you receive SPAM in your inbox, be sure to mark it as SPAM so your email client knows how to handle those messages. Be careful of selecting the unsubscribe link to stop messages from that particular sender, as these links have been know on rare occasions to trigger a malware attack. It’s better to let your email client software handle to blocking and removal of these messages.
6. Install any new software with extreme caution
If you are downloading and installing software from a reputable source that you trust, such as iTunes or Spotify, then you should be safe so long as you are downloading directly from the software publishers page. If you are downloading from a source you do not trust 100%, then Google the name of the product and find a direct link from the software distributor.
If you are uncertain about downloading something, call or email the IT Service Desk.
Installing software on your computer is like welcoming a guest into your house. If you do not trust them implicitly, then proceed with extreme caution.